Why We Are Optimistic that Government Can Play Moneyball
By Michele Jolin
To dramatically expand opportunity and improve the lives of young people, their families and communities, government policy and funding decisions must be informed by the best possible data and evidence about impact. In short, government at all levels must be committed to “investing in what works.”
To make this case, in 2013, Results for America launched the Moneyball for Government campaign. Named after the book and movie about Major League Baseball’s famous 2002 Oakland A’s team that succeeded against big-spending opponents by using a data-driven approach, Moneyball for Government seeks to bridge the gap between existing evidence and data about impact, and elected officials and policy makers using that information to make better choices. Late last year, we released Moneyball for Government, a book written by an experienced group of political and policy leaders from across the political spectrum, to provide policymakers a roadmap for investing in what works.
For a number of reasons, we are optimistic that the time is right for government to play Moneyball:
- There is a strong and growing demand for solutions that bridge partisan divides. We believe Moneyball can be achieved in a bipartisan way. Republicans can support Moneyball because it helps ensure we aren’t spending on programs that don’t work. Democrats can support Moneyball because it shows government can work and reinforces public support for programs that are getting results. For proof, look no further than the great leaders and thinkers—from both sides of the aisle—who recently joined Results for America in writing Moneyball for Government. They include: Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire, and Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia; former Obama and George W. Bush administration Budget Directors Peter Orszag and Jim Nussle; former Obama and George W. Bush administration economic advisors Gene Sperling and Glenn Hubbard; former Obama and George W. Bush administration domestic policy advisors Melody Barnes and John Bridgeland; former spokesmen for the Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton Presidential campaigns Kevin Madden and Howard Wolfson; and former Obama and George W. Bush policy advisors Robert Gordon and Ron Haskins.
- The body of evidence about what works for young people, their families, and communities is larger than ever before. Over the last several decades, there has been a significant growth in the number of randomized control trials and other kinds of more rigorous studies that provide strong evidence of the effectiveness of programs at the federal and local level.
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